Burgess scores man of the match for Bath

Sam Burgess confessed his surprise at being named man of the match in only his second Aviva Premiership game in the blindside flanker role after scoring one of five tries in English rugby club Bath’s 43-18 win against London Irish.

Burgess, who has switched to No.6 after struggling in the centres, could not have scored a more typical forward’s try, touching down from a catch-and-drive following a line-out on the hour.

Other try scorers were Leroy Houston, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan and Semesa Rokoduguni.

Asked if it was his best performance for Bath, former South Sydney NRL star Burgess said: “Not really. I was quite surprised actually to get man of the match. I can be a bit hypercritical of myself at times but that’s never a bad thing.

“There are a few tactical things I can improve on with the forwards coaches. I’ve got two weeks to the next game now – knuckle down and get some hard work done.

On his try, he said: “I was just waiting for the line to appear, really. It probably wasn’t my most glorious try – but I’ll take it. My name’s on the scoresheet but the guys in front of me did the work.

“It was a bit scrappy in the first half but we were clinical after half-time.”

Bath coach Mike Ford was happy with the five points that keep his side well in contention for a top-two spot, despite trailing 13-12 to the Exiles at the break.

“The scoreboard lied at halftime, I thought. For some reason the game unfolded where we couldn’t get possession to put the phases together,” he said.

London Irish interim head coach Glenn Delaney admitted his team were ‘killed’ by a lop-sided penalty count which resulted in Jebb Sinclair and Dan Leo being sin-binned.

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